As the great horde of Phillies fans ripped Ruben Amaro a new one for standing pat on trade deadline day 2013, the Phils went out and showed everyone why major changes should be made with this club.
Kyle Kendrick was battered around by a makeshift San Francisco lineup, pounded for seven runs (six earned) on eight hits in just two-plus innings of work, sending the Phillies to a 9-2 loss at the hands of the defending world champs.
Perhaps he was a bit distracted, because the right-hander was pitching a day after the birth of his son, Kyle Jr. However, Kendrick didn’t want to use that as an excuse.
“I would never change that for the world; it was awesome. But I have to make better pitches, that’s what it comes down to. They found some holes, and It was a frustrating night for me.”
It has not been a banner July for the Phils’ #3 starter, having given up 37 hits and 22 earned runs in 25 2/3 innings for a 7.71 ERA in that month. (stat courtesy of CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury). In fact, Kendrick has gotten a little bit worse with each passing month this year.
April 2.41 ERA, 6.4 K/9
May 4.03 ERA, 5.0 K/9
June 4.17 ERA, 5.5 K/9
July 7.71 ERA, 4.6 K/9
Kendrick, by the way, is due to earn a big raise in arbitration after the season, probably in the $7-8 million region, unless the Phils decide they want to trade him or sign him to an extension. Kendrick will need a better August and September to convince the Phils they should pony up the dough for his services.
“I think the last four or five starts I’ve been leaving things up,” Kendrick said. “I feel like I’m having one bad inning and I’m not minimizing the damage. I’ve been in tough ruts before, but I just have to keep making pitches. Today I had no command, the ball was up and when you’re like that, most pitchers end up getting hurt.”
Offensively, the punch-less Phils welcomed new third baseman Cody Asche, the left-handed hitter who was on a tear at Lehigh Valley (.295/.352/.485 15 HRs & 24 2Bs) for his first start at third. While he made a couple brilliant defensively plays, he also allowed a grounder to get by him for a “base hit” that allowed a run to score in the first inning. He went 0 for 4 at the plate, but hit a couple balls hard in seeing his first Major League action.
“I missed a couple pitches that I could have done some more with,” Asche said. “But overall, I saw some pitches, swung at some good pitches and had a couple of tough outs.”
One bright note, first baseman/left fielder Darin Ruf managed to get on base again last night, going 1 for 2 with a walk. It hasn’t been glitzy, but Ruf has now reached base in all 19 games in which he’s played this season and in 28 straight Major League games, dating back to last year.
After last night’s loss, the Phillies are now 12 1/2 games behind the Braves in the NL East, and just one game up on the Mets for third in the division.
Keep the dream alive, boys.